Nigeria Air: April 2022 take-off uncertain again

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The Federal Government’s assurance that Nigeria Air would take-off in April 2022 may be another failed promise.

On Sunday, the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) said the carrier will begin operations before President Muhammad Buhari leaves office.

Acting Director-General, Michael Ohiani spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

The DG assured that the ICRC was working round the clock to get the airline operational.

He confirmed collaboration with the Ministry of Aviation, adding that a new presidential approval had been given.

Ohiani did not give details of the approval, but said the process would get to the next stage by the end of February.

“We will get the concessionaire. Once we have gotten the concessionaire which is a major step, operation will follow.

“I can assure you that before the end of this administration, Air Nigeria will start flying”, he said.

The DG also informed of plans for the establishment of cargo agro airports in the six geo political zones.

In November 2021, Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika told reporters that April 2022 was guaranteed for commencement.

Sirika said 70,000 jobs would be generated and that majority shares of 49 per cent will be owned by equity partners.

Nigerians will own 46 per cent shares while the Federal Government will own 5 per cent, he added.

In March 2020, the minister promised that Nigeria Air will start flying local routes from 2021 Q3.

In May 2021, Sirika said the carrier would start operations in the 2022 Q1, blaming the delay on COVID-19.